My list and my parents' list are not the same

My parents want me to go to a college that has a good program that will support me in my disability (I have Aspergers and they think I need a ton of extra support, which maybe I do, though not as much as they think). I want to go to a college with a good program like a Department of Education, or a Teacher’s College, or something that will prepare me for my life’s dream of becoming an elementary school teacher. I’m thinking of the long term, they are thinking of the short term. The problem is that in all my research, I can’t find a college that has both. I can find many colleges with good disability support programs, and lots of quality colleges that have reputations for turning out good teachers. But those colleges are not the same ones. How do I reconcile my parents to my ideas? Is there any way I can make some kind of compromise? What am I missing?

Surely at least one of the places on your parents’ list has a teacher preparation program that can lead to certification in Elementary Education. Read through each website very carefully. Don’t just look for “Department of Education” or “Teacher’s College”. The search term you probably should start with is “elementary education”. If that doesn’t work, try “teacher certification”.

You also can talk with your parents about the possibility of spending two years at a place with the support they want for you, and then transferring to another place to finish up the coursework you would need for teacher certification. An undergraduate degree in just about anything followed by an MAT specifically for elementary education could work well too.

You haven’t given near enough information. Scores, financial need, area, that kind of thing. Not to be a downer but this kinda seems like a vent post. As if you just want to hear how unreasonable your parents are for insisting on disability services at the “expense” of your dreams. (FYI look at big state schools. That’ll get you started.) But the thing is, they aren’t being unreasonable. College is a huge transition for which an average student needs a great deal of support. Someone with Aspergers may find it infinitely more difficult to acclimate and deal with social situations. Your parents have got it right. Support should be a main priority.

Agreed there is limited information, but here are a few things to consider.

  1. If you are classified in HS ask for a meeting in the fall with your guidance counselor, resource room teacher etc. and talk about what types of support you will need in college. Ask if they think you need a LD program, a LD college, or just supports like extra time which are available at every college. Ask people to be honest and do not get upset if you don’t like their answer. Recognize that everyone wants you to succeed.

  2. There are a number of non LD colleges which have excellent support including special programs for learning disabled students as well an education major. Perhaps participation in a program like this would be a compromise that will protect you and give you the education you want. A couple of schools I know off offhand with special programs are UAZ Iona, Marist and there are many more. Go to Amazon and there is a book about it.

  3. Even if you don’t do education as an undergrad you can get a Masters and still get where you want to be. Talk to your parents about that option as well.

    Good luck.

here’s some background: i took the SAT in 2012 and graduated high school in 2013 in Maryland. then when i applied to colleges my parents urged me to stick to schools in and around Maryland, to stay close to home “just in case”. i applied to Mcdaniel, Goucher, and Hood Colleges, and then chose Goucher College and even got a scholarship, but i couldnt go because my parents needed to put me into a program for students with Aspergers, College Living Experience located the next town over. at the time i felt that my parents were very overprotective, but looking back i needed it at the time. i’ve grown up since then. i took a “gap year” after CLE - living at home.

now i’m looking at colleges again and i actually know what i want as for goals this time, which narrows it down somewhat. my parents keep saying i should look at small liberal arts colleges, but i want to go to a big university like Boston College or UC Berkeley - i like cities. thank you for the suggestions. i guess i should just face the fact that i need help.

Yes, you have to be honest with yourself. If you still need some help, go to a school that will provide the support you require – in the end that will help you to succeed. There is no shame in getting the support you are entitled to – in fact it is the smart move. If you end up at a school with too much support, you don’t have to take advantage of it all or you can use less every year – but if you go to a school without the support you need there is a good chance that won’t reach your goals.

Again, there are so many colleges and universities with many different levels of services so do the research with your parents and I think you will find schools that can satisfy everyone.

OP, look at Lesley University in Cambridge MA–good education programs and fantastic disability support.

If you’re searching for “department of education” or “teacher’s college” you’re not going to get very far.

Definitely search for elementary education or teacher certification somewhere sometime. A lot of schools have major tracks off of science, math, English etc. for elementary or secondary education.

Don’t think your parents are being stuffy or unreasonable. They’re just looking out for you. College IS a huge transition and they just want to make sure you don’t fall through the cracks. Maybe you won’t need all that support but it’s nice for you and comforting for them to know that the support is there.

There are urban LACs or smaller universities, such as UDayton, Macalester, Whittier… Even GOucher is really close to a city.
Are you a boy or a girl? What are your test scores?

If you like cities, then what is wrong with Baltimore? Towson University is close enough to downtown Baltimore to have fun there if you want to, but far enough out in the suburbs to be likely to make your parents happy. They liked Goucher didn’t they? It is about half a mile from TU. TU has a very good Elementary Education program that could work well for you: I bet your parents would really like the in-state tuition and fees as well! Goucher has one too:

Many states require you to study one subject before you can get certified. Check the requirements for MD, VA, PA, NJ, and NYS.
Your first concern should be excellent support. You can always get a post-BA certificate to teach elementary school if you graduate from college; majoring in elementary education at a university without proper accomodations is likely to result in difficulties for you, and without the proper GPA your odds of teaching elementary school become very low. Prioritize accomodations. However, you can expand your search to colleges that are within a 5 to 6 hour drive - there are lots of them.